Italy’s data protection authority has started an investigation to explore the collection of personal data on the internet for the purpose of training artificial intelligence systems. This probe is part of an effort to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s stringent data privacy law. The Italian watchdog, known for its proactive stance, has previously taken action against AI services, including a temporary ban on the chatbot ChatGPT, due to privacy concerns.
The focus of the investigation is to determine whether websites are implementing sufficient measures to prevent the excessive harvesting of personal data by AI platforms, a process often referred to as data scraping. By doing so, the authority aims to protect individuals’ privacy and prevent unauthorized use of personal information. Depending on the findings, the authority has indicated that it might take necessary actions, which could include urgent measures if required.
The Italian authority is not alone in its efforts to regulate AI; several European countries are actively working on legislation. With recent agreements between France, Germany, and Italy on the regulation of AI, there’s a push to set a global standard for the technology that is now integral to numerous sectors. The European Union is also on the verge of approving new rules that could shape the future of AI governance.
To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand, Italy has extended an invitation to academics, AI specialists, and consumer advocacy groups to contribute their insights during a 60-day comment period. This collaborative approach underscores the importance of diverse perspectives in shaping the regulatory framework for AI and data protection.